Language and Culture Essay Example

It is often argued that the language we speak shapes the way we think. The languages we use play a critical role in determining the kind of thought one expresses. The scientific approach of the issue as was done by Noam Chomsky in the 1960s differs from the social approach which literature tries to adopt (Boroditsky, 2010). This led to the conflict with the scientific approach showing that language does not affect the way we think.

The scientific approach proposes that the languages do not really differ from each other as there is a universal grammar for all of them. Therefore, culture is the one that can influence the language that is used in a given place. The culture is made up of norms and communication ethics which are highly observed. The language that will be used in such a place will, therefore, align with the culture of the people.

Literature is used to pass various messages to society through given languages. Whether written or informal, the literal form will employ the contemporary language and abide with the cultural values of the society to deliver the message that is given. The link between the two exists since literal forms such as songs and poems will differ from one community to the other same way the cultural practices will be different.

The best way to approach it is to believe that the two affect each other in an equal measure. Language evolves yielding new words and phrases. This is defined by the society that is using it as well as the contemporary issues that are coming up. Language evolution is a good reason to show that culture will play a role in the development of the language.

In conclusion, literature employs both culture and language to show the diversity of various societies and pass the given message. The two rely on each other and none can stand without the other. There is no culture without a language that the people who support the culture use as well as there is no language that is used by people without cultures.


Boroditsky, L. (July 23, 2010). Lost in Translation. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from.

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